Day 5 and Day 6 of the 7 Days of Calm have been all about the power of unplugging, being quiet, and learning to appreciate the value of ‘undoing’.
Get back to the Here and Now
It’s important – if not crucial – to take back some time to be quiet and to not really do too much. Day 5’s meditation is called “Returning to the Here and Now”.
It’s too easy to forget about what’s going on right now. I’ve got a horrible tendency to get wrapped up in past events, in the “I should have done…” or “Why didn’t it work out this way?”
I also have a habit of worrying about the future, of always predicting the worst (for me, anyway). So Day 5’s meditation took me out of that cycle and put me back in the ‘now’.
It was actually quite a revelatory experience for me because I suddenly realised how much I could actually hear going on around me that I normally ignore.
The importance of Non-Doing
This morning’s meditation was “The Value of Non-Doing”. This is the part of mindfulness that I struggle with. I have so much to do that I somehow feel frivolous taking ten minutes to just sit and be quiet and calm. It’s counter-intuitive because I’d probably find I could cope with how much I have to do more easily if I did take those ten minutes!
I’ve also been consulting the Calm book, and when I opened it at random yesterday, it counselled you to put your devices away when you’re with friends. I saw one of my oldest friends for dinner last night so my phone stayed in my pocket!
I did get it out to check the time as I don’t wear a watch, but I didn’t actually check my phone unless he went outside for a cigarette, and it’s amazing how deeper and more enjoyable conversations are when you’re both present and paying attention to each other.
Being mindful throughout the day
Today’s tip for taking a break is to listen to BBC Radio 3 – it’s the classical music station, and it is good, although I prefer Classic FM. I’ve been a lover of classical music for years so I listened to Tchaikovsky on the way to work this morning and my commute was so much nicer!
It’s definitely not difficult for me to build more classical music into my day, and if listening to the 1812 Overture on the way to work is all it takes to de-stress me and put me in a better frame of mind then it’s totally worth doing.
It’s also inspired me to dig out my Cello Favourites compilation, which has some of the most beautiful classical music on it. The cello is my favourite instrument and if I’d had a better teacher when I was younger I’d probably still be playing!